Changing Voting Pass / Fail Threshold & Related Ideas

Merits Discussion?

  1. “Abstain” votes should count. Meaning count as “Not in Favor”. I’m guessing some / many believe that’s already the case, so if nothing else this should be clarified?

  2. Pass threshold “in Favor” should be higher than 50%. I’ll start by suggesting 70%.

A 50.01 - 49.99 pass threshold is not exactly decisive, and a 50% pass threshold is arguably at the core of much of what’s problematic IRL. If we don’t want similar problems in “the metaverse”, perhaps we shouldn’t copy the worst of IRL?

These could be either/or, not necessarily both.

Just putting it out there.

Cost to implement would be essentially zero.

Cheers, and remember to have fun!

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Hi br00no,

There is merit to the discussion of voting mechanics as a whole and I’m glad you’re raising the question. It’s a perfect task for the future Ape Assembly governing body to tackle once it’s up and running. Thank you!


Hey @br00no !

Thanks for raising this topic.

  1. “Abstain” votes should count. Meaning count as “Not in Favor”. I’m guessing some / many believe that’s already the case, so if nothing else this should be clarified?

I’m pretty sure Abstain is there as a neutral option for people to show that they participated but not affect the scales. Basically, if I don’t think I can help vote on a specific topic I don’t have enough knowledge of then I’ll choose to abstain. That way I’m still showing that I’m active but not voting. Checkout AIP-200 for more info on Abstain.

  1. Pass threshold “in Favor” should be higher than 50%. I’ll start by suggesting 70%.

When a vote passes with a simple majority of 50%, it means that only half of the voters supported the decision. The other half either did not support it or were indifferent. Therefore, it may not accurately reflect the will of the majority.

I suggest 2/3 (66.67%) which seems to be a logical proportion since this way the amount of the majority will always be twice as much or more than the minority. Twice as many should be decisive enough.


Thank you both.

2/3 seems reasonable too. Just something materially higher than 50%. Possibly matters of greater importance or cost could require different thresholds?

Understood re: abstain. I’ve made use of the option. It may not be clear to everyone though, but more so there could be a situation (it may have happened in the vote for new Administrators?) in which the winning vote has a lower total than “Abstain”. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if more people bother to vote “Abstain” than could be bothered to form an opinion maybe it just isn’t that captivating or worthwhile an idea? Could also be more complex than necessary? Or not.

Just worth considering and discussing.

Grateful to have such great feedback on this already.


I’d be open to the notion of a 2/3 majority, but certainly not equating the “Abstain” option to “Not in Favor.” Like ayvee above mentioned, there may be those who want to participate in the voting process who lack the sufficient detail to make a clear and fully-knowledgeable vote one way or the other. I see “Abstain” as essentially like taking attendance.

I’m not sure how many AIPs have come down to that close of a margin, maybe @RedVulkan could provide some stats on this in his (likely) incredibly limited spare time? In my experience, the community tends to lean fairly heavily in one direction or the other with most proposals, but I’d love to see the data to that effect.


Hi br00no,

Always take great pleasure reading your view points, this time is no exception btw!

So point one I’m firmly agreeing with @ayvee and their explanation and understanding of the abstain usage reasons and meaning to voters as a whole. Maybe however I would add, that it can also double as an invaluable tool for those whose ideas fail, giving very specific target points for feedback and therefore the possibility of easy conversion, dependent on the reasoning ofc, but if it was lack of time or understanding or tech knowledge, then pretty easily addressed I feel.

To your second point, I have thought about thresholds a great deal and totally agree these should be explored in depth. I have two avenues with thresholds, first is “pass percentage threshold” (which you mention) and second is “participation threshold”. I feel both have merit within different categories (Core, Process, or Informational). For example, for CORE FUND ALLOCATION AIPs do we not mind so much for anything under 1million dollars perhaps, put that all on-chain and trustless asap? However, for those requests over that costing amount of 1 million maybe we require a 60% in favour vote threshold to be deemed as successful? Maybe we also take a participation average from the last, let’s say five previous AIPs requesting funding, and stipulate the participation must be greater than the average to pass successfully? Do we even require both thresholds must be met for even higher value requests, like 2 million plus for example? Another example would be for AIPs that fall within the PROCESS category, I feel this voting system should be completely different from all other categories as it’s so important, so should require much higher thresholds (both types mentioned) to be achieved in order for the AIP to be deemed as “Passed Successfully”. I also like the idea that voting on elections will have their own unique bespoke system, and I’m going to use the words of Gerry to help explain my reasoning - “we’re in web3, we can make things as complicated as we like…”, and that’s true, so why not is my feeling.

NB: The ADMINISTRATOR vote, which as you mention, had very close numbers in the abstain and in favour columns - I believe that around 85% of the abstain total was made up of four voting wallets only, approx 1.8million of the 2million total. And afaik, the reasoning given by one of the biggest holders of why it was that they abstained, is they felt the vote had been “fk’d” (quote btw), due to the summary given by SC and stewards which was suggested directed voting and showed great favour, and they disagreed with this happening. I did also note that it was certainly a bad look for the DAO, when on such a fundamental PROCESS vote we saw such low thresholds achieved and comparable numbers in the pass and abstain columns.

Look forward to more, undoubtedly, great and passionate discussions!


I’m pleasantly surprised to see this suggestion get so much traction and valuable, well considered feedback already! Seems that it’s a worthwhile topic, with ppl very open to some change.

I don’t think it matters whether any votes have actually been a hypothetical 49.99-50.01, but that it can happen - or something like it. People aren’t too happy or feeling much included when that happens in IRL. The feeling won’t be different here if/when it happens.

Much thanks to everyone reading & commenting.


Hi Furious. Your kind comment is very much appreciated. Thank you.

I think you’ve raised some very important points that “should” be looked at.

With respect to the Administrator vote, I had asked in its AIP thread here whether there’d be any guidance from the Stewards or Council so I was grateful to have it. When the person you’re referring to made those comments I could definitely see, and somewhat agree with, that person’s concern.

Two issues I have with it though. That person’s frustration was expressed elsewhere, not here where the AIP thread was and where people may have agreed and prevented it from happening.

As discussion further decentralizes to multiple forums and mediums, it’ll be increasingly the case that ppl don’t know important points when voting or just feel left out and not willing to chase crucial info Pokemon-style across Web3. In which case overall voting may go down, ill-informed voting will go up, and/or the Abstain vote may skyrocket. Esp. if voting, or spreading info far & wide is part of some monetary rewards system, which is its own concern.

Respect to you for having the guts to express things which aren’t always popular or easy to consider.


I always thought that different AIP should have a different % required in them to pass. Major decisions being over 70%, critical ones like governance over 90%, and grants depending on size or impact also a different quorum. My point: 50.1% vs 49.9% should not decide major changes, direction, or big amounts of capital.


This is a great point, and a downside that could possibly play out, we should certainly keep an eye on this over time, and maybe it becomes a good argument basis for reverting back to the original two options, for or against? I’m definitely open to all the possibilities.

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I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement but I’m willing to talk about it.

I think they put forward a neutral stance. Indifference, in this case doesn’t equal to Not in favour so I’ll favour them not being counted

Honestly, That’s something I agree with. Imo ~ 65% should be enough for a decisive vote

Also, one thing : If we Implement both of these at the same time, To reach the 70% threshold to pass while counting the Abstains as Hell No’s would be a monumental task.

I think we can follow the UN general assembly’s voting framework here, It’ll give us a lot of room for Diplomatic posturing :joy:

Open for dialogue, let’s create the best Governance System in the entirety of Web 3


Well said, Critical decisions which hold the power to change the DAO for the better or for the worse like fundamentally overhauling the governance structure or the voting power redistribution would need to be voted overwhelmingly in majority (No option to Abstain cause if lots of people abstain, It’ll create a low base effect which’ll result in a few votes being decisive)

The Criteria and the options to vote for different topics need to be drafted up alongside the Governance Committee


100% agree with you, It’s like the UN General Assembly voting framework.

Neutrality is sometimes underrated and underappreciated

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Hi @br00no,

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2/3 is a lot imho. Keep in mind that achieving 66% vote is not just 16% harder, but probably 2x as hard as achieving 50% vote.

If we are ever to move away from 51/49, I’d suggest 55/45 or at most 60/40.

There’s no perfect number here. But you don’t want to stifle innovation and exacerbate ‘partisanship’ by making votes super hard to pass. Moving numbers far from each other also puts extreme importance on the whales, as AIPs will become near-impossible to pass without them, and people will have to pander to those votes, which compromises integrity of AIPs.

51/49 isn’t so bad. After all, we should all have some basic trust in each other that we may disagree, but hopefully none of us will vote on obviously awful ideas that hurt the ecosystem. There’s quite a distance from “ehh, I don’t think it’s good enough” to “waste of money”, meaning that even if 49% are “ehh” it may still be a good proposal, as time might tell.

All in all, my opinion is 55/45 should be as far as we take this, if the council decides to take it anywhere.


Hi Lost. Please extend 7 days. Thank you.

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Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

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I’m thinking to proceed with this as a very low cost, or no cost, AIP to Draft phase with the following tenets:

  1. Seems to be a consensus so far that a higher threshold than 51/49 is worthwhile and desirable. As this moves along we’ll gain more Discourse on what that threshold should be, and maybe final vote could be multiple options? Offhand based on comments above I’d guess “No Change, 60-40, 2/3”.

  2. Make it clear, in case there’s any confusion, that “Abstain” does not count for pass/fail.

  3. Maybe needs to be a distinct AIP(?): Task an existing Working Group or dedicated subset of an existing Working Group (Governance?) to assess / investigate if certain types of votes or thresholds of ask $amounts should perhaps have distinct thresholds higher (or lower?).

FWIW, my personal opinion is that it is beneficial to be higher than 51/49 with no firm opinion on how much higher, but I am of the belief it’d be at least 55-45 to make any real difference even just as a “nod” to asserting something other than the usual 51-49.

No worries if consensus is “no change”. IMO there’s value is in having actually considered and decided this collectively, even “no change”, vs. simply accepting the default.

Having come this far, I volunteer to steer this AIP (or two?) forward and participate in a related Working Group if it goes there.

My b/g that has any relevance is having been on BoD of multiple public companies, usually on the finance side of the business. CFO and such. Board appointments are voted on annually by shareholders. An audit firm oversees the voting. Often a greater than 51-49 vote is required, or highly desirable, for certain corporate initiatives.

Pretty simple, and if at all possible have fun!


Would you be comfortable adding a stipulation to the AIP that it should only be considered “passed” if the % of pass votes is same or higher than the proposed new percentage?

E.g. if the AIP suggests 60/40 and it only passes with 59% of votes, it should be manually adjusted to rejected/failed.

Seems fair that same standard is applied to this AIP as it proposes we apply to others. This is to serve as a test if the suggested new numbers are achievable/realistic.


Thank you, Sasha.

I’m comfortable with the consensus of people participating in the discussion.

AND yes, I was thinking about this just yesterday. Hadn’t thought of the solution you propose, which seems simple and obvious. So yes I will make this part of any discussion / draft going forward.

For balance, I’m also aware that there’s an irony of an idea failing because of the very “problem” it attempts to remedy.

Far better than picking whatever pass/fail ratio, would be some way of vetting for voters who actually grasp what they’re voting on. Or at least read and understood an AIP. Someone qualified adding comments on ethical or potential legal peril would also be helpful. That’s a different discussion / AIP in progress. It’s all about more quality and informed votes at the core, not picking numbers for the heck of it.

Or maybe “we” don’t care about any of this. What matters is if it’s to be 51/49 it should be by decision not default. That would be a much better title to this idea than “changing pass / fail ratio”… maybe “Determining The Pass / Fail Ratio”. I’ll improve the title next round.

Some study of different systems might be beneficial, especially for more impactful topics like changes to fundamental tenets of the DAO. At some point there’s a legal line crossed. I’ve heard comments by lawyers in the space stating … I don’t want to paraphrase incorrectly…basically that some votes if taken as suggestions are OK but if taken as binding transforms the whole thing into a violation. There’s a lot of nuance that goes with that of course - including whether it’s a social or protocol DAO, or other - it’s just an example.

Brainstorming here. I don’t purport to have all, or any, definitive answers.